Last week on Twitter I asked my fellow adoptive parents what one thing they’d like to be receiving from post-adoption support that isn’t currently being provided. Here’s what people have been saying.
What adopters want from post-adoption support
I first posted my question at 7.00 on Monday morning, and repeated it throughout the week.
— Hannah Meadows | Self-care for adoptive parents (@HLMeadows) January 8, 2018
There were some great responses: simple, clear ideas that would really make a practical difference.
‘Occasional respite breaks even if only for a day!’
‘Regular and dependable respite.’
An empathic post adoption SW specially trained in trauma and who gets it.
— Lucy Brown (@icescream43) January 8, 2018
‘Psychotherapy access, support for adoptive parents who parent from a distance.’
‘Adoptee mentoring support group where adoptees 5-18 get to meet once a month with adult adoptees and can freely share what they often don’t feel they can share. The earlier an adoptee talks about adoption and is validated for doing so, the less of it control they will feel.’
I would like them to run a 'Therapy Fair', where I could attend & talk to lots of therapists & find the most suitable one. Would save me loads of legwork.
— Rosemary Morgan (@frogotter) January 8, 2018
‘Adoptee grief & trauma awareness. In-depth attachment education with a neurobiological, physiological approach.’
‘Actively encouraging peer support and networking. I see so many things on [Twitter] about support groups but nothing near here.’
Bloody good signposting – wouldn’t even cost them very much.
— Library Lady (@crusoepoll) January 8, 2018
‘After the evening I’ve just had, tempting to say: one-way ticket to Canada. More seriously, diagnosis of needs and recommended actions. I fight for extra help, but don’t really know what I should be fighting for.’
So in short, what adopters need is:
- Social workers who really understand trauma and its impact on children and families
- Access to therapy, and the ability to see what our therapeutic options are
- Support for parents, including those whose children live elsewhere, and access to peer support
- Mentoring for adoptees
- High-quality training for social workers and parents
It doesn’t really seem like an impossible list of requests to me.
Thank you to everyone for answering. I agree with all of these (yes, including the ticket to Canada). My hope is that by continuing to amplify each other’s voices by blogging about them like this, we’ll be heard by those in a position to make change happen.
Hearing your thoughts also really helps me know what I should write about and which doors to push when I get vocal online. I don’t want only to speak for myself, but to advocate for our community in my own small way.
To a similar end, following a couple of my more opinionated blog posts, I’m meeting with Home for Good tomorrow to talk about how churches can better support adoptive and foster families. If you have any comments/suggestions about that please leave them below and I will do my best to include them in the ongoing conversation.